For weeks, the debate has raged on over whether Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar would walk out WrestleMania as champion. The answer ended up being neither, as Seth Rollins finally cashed in his "Money In The Bank" contract and became WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Yes, Seth Rollins is the new champion, and not only did he win, but the cash-in was executed perfectly.


In the past we've seen cash-ins after matches ended, and cash-ins to set up a future match, but we have never seen someone cash in a contract mid-match. After a very brief confusion on what was going on, the announcer declared that the match became a triple-threat, and Rollins tried to take advantage of a downed Lesnar and Reigns. There was a flurry of offense from all three competitors and, at the end, Rollins hit a curb stomp on Reigns to win the match and become the new champion.

It was as close to you can get to a perfectly scripted match. You could quibble a bit with how much offense Lesnar got in at the beginning, as for a while it looked like it was going to be a repeat of SummerSlam. You could even complain slightly about Reigns kicking out of three F5s, or hitting multiple spears towards the end. However, all of that was forgotten with the last sequence.

Having Rollins enter the match, instead of coming in afterward, allowed both Lesnar and Reigns to look strong, and it provided a frenzied ending where it was legitimately tough to predict exactly how it would end. I don't think I'm the only one who could have seen the match ending with Rollins taking a pin at the end as the three went at each other.

So now, the "future" of the company is the present. Seth Rollins made history. He became the first NXT champion to also be WWE champion. He also became the first person to win the title at WrestleMania who was born after the first WrestleMania.

It's amazing to think about the endings of the past two WrestleManias. While we continue to hear over and over again how much Vince McMahon doesn't like the independent wrestlers, the past two years have finished with a former Ring of Honor champion holding the WWE title.

While I'm surprised they pulled the trigger on having Rollins be champion this weekend, it cannot be denied that a show full of wild "WrestleMania moments" ended in a near-perfect way.

The Rest of Wrestlemania

** While Rollins stole the show at the end, the biggest moment of the night may have belonged to a non-wrestler. Triple H and Stephanie had come out late in the show to brag about the attendance, and how well they've been running the company. That brought out The Rock to insult them both. And while normally I'd be talking about The Rock stealing the show, that wasn't the case this time.

Instead, after Stephanie ran down Rock and even slapped him, The Rock went to the outside, and brought UFC star Ronda Rousey out of the crowd. Rousey came back into the ring with The Rock, and after Rock attacked Triple H, she sent H flying with a hip toss, and then caught Steph in an armbar.

Ronda Rousey is the biggest star in UFC right now. She is undefeated, a true warrior in the ring, and also charismatic. She's working on crossing over into the mainstream, as she's slated to appear both in Furious 7 and the Entourage movie in upcoming months.

If the WWE could get her to agree to work a match, it could legitimately be the biggest draw the WWE has had in a long time. It's hard to say often that The Rock wasn't the biggest star in the ring, but this time, Rousey overshadowed him.

** Speaking of Triple H, his match with Sting had all the nostalgia you could possibly want. The match wasn't a technical classic, but it was extremely entertaining.

After the two went back and forth, Sting started to get the advantage, and the members of D-Generation X (Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-pac) came out to help Triple H. When Triple H started to get the advantage, and was reaching for his trusty sledgehammer, who would come out to help Sting but Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, the nWo.

Yes, it's confusing why the nWo would help Sting, but it still provided an nWo and DX confrontation. So in a match where we had Sting wrestling at WrestleMania, we also got nWo and DX. Finally, Shawn Michaels would get involved, hitting Sweet Chin Music on Sting.


The ending came abruptly, with Triple H hitting Sting with the head of the sledgehammer and getting what was a surprise win, but the match was entertaining and gave everyone's late-90s version of themselves exactly what they wanted.

** Undertaker was redeemed for last year, as he beat Bray Wyatt. Undertaker looked much better than last year, and I think he gave hope that he'd have at least one more match in him next year.

There were a few great spots in the match, including Bray crabwalking toward Undertaker just for Taker to sit up straight in his face. Each of them kicked out of his opponent's finisher once, and then Undertaker eventually hit the Tombstone for the second time for the win.

If there was a major flaw in the match, it was the daylight for the entrances, and obviously that was unavoidable. Bray's entrance was pretty creative, as he brought scarecrows to life as he made his way to the ring.

** John Cena captured the US title, and in the process handed Rusev his first loss via pinfall or submission. There was nothing overly fancy about this match, as they built on their last encounter. The finish came when Rusev ran into Lana, and after he was distracted, Cena hit him with the AA.

Rusev yelled at Lana for getting in his way after the match. Rusev's entrance was great, as he came out in a tank as "Russian soldiers" lined the ramp and the Russian national anthem played.

** The US title wasn't the only midcard title to change hands, as Daniel Bryan won the ladder match for the Intercontinental title. This was a spotfest, as expected.

Dean Ambrose easily took the biggest bump of the night, flying from one ladder through another one that was draped across the apron and barrier, causing the ladder to snap in half.

The injury spot might actually be relevant for a future storyline, as it could be listed as a reason why he didn't fulfill his promise of not letting Seth Rollins cash in successfully. The match was an entertaining way to officially start the show.

** While Seth Rollins got the last laugh at the end of the night, Randy Orton did beat him in their match. The finish of that match was spectacular, with Rollins going for a curb stomp and Orton standing up to propel him in the air, and catch him with an RKO. This will likely set up a match in the not-so-distant future between Orton and the new champion.

** AJ and Paige beat the Bellas in their tag encounter. This was given a good amount of time and was well-booked, with AJ receiving the hot tag to eventually lead to the win. I was a little surprised that the dissension between AJ and Paige wasn't used more in this match, or that the Bellas didn't show much dissension. Either way, this still looks like this is leading towards a title match between these four at a PPV soon.

** The biggest shock of the night may belong to The Big Show, who won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The storyline of the match was exactly as expected, though, as Damien Mizdow finally broke away from Miz, sending him over the top rope after it got down to Miz, Mizdow and Big Show.


It seemed like Mizdow would win at several points, but Big Show, who eliminated most of the other favorites including Ryback and Hideo Itami, finally was able to get him. I did enjoy the sequence between Cesaro and Big Show, which was almost an exact mirror from the closing finish from last year. Between the move to the preshow and having Big Show win it, it's hard to see the win meaning a whole lot though.

** Tyson Kidd and Cesaro won the opening tag titles match and became the only champions to retain their titles at this WrestleMania. Fatal Fourway tag matches can sometimes get out of hand, and while there certainly was a frantic pace to the match, it never got completely out of hand, which was a testament to the competitors. The ending, with Cesaro tagging himself in when the Usos seemed to be about to win, was nicely done as well.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster

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